From exploring the physical limits of pleasure and sexuality to the entire history of the planet, this year's Melbourne Festival is a soulful expression of what it means to be human

Melbourne needs no introduction when it comes to cultural credibility. The charming metropolis clinging to Australia's south-eastern seaboard, which was named the 'world's most liveable city' for the seventh year running, is internationally recognised for its art and culture.  It's the only UNESCO designated city of literature, boasts Australia's largest ticketed cultural event (The Comedy Festival), is internationally praised for its street art, has the largest number of songwriters and is home to the National Gallery of Victoria, the nation's most popular and among the world's 20 most visited.

First established in 1986, Melbourne Festival is an intrinsic part of that cultural fabric. The 2017 program is the Festival's most ambitious yet, with more than 65 events running over 17 days in October.

Click through the gallery to discover some of the Melbourne Festival 2017 highlights.  

Awake and dream: lose yourself in Melbourne Festival’s quixotic program